The week in civil society: How to build global peace and better regulate medicines, elections and wine
This week, civil society focuses on how to get things right — whether it’s the safety of medicine, the fairness of elections or removing poisonous chemicals from the wine industry. The week ends with a focus on how to nurture peace in decidedly unpeaceful times.
This Sunday, the world marks International Day of Living Together in Peace. The United Nations declared this to fall on 16 May annually to reinvigorate the world’s push for peace. It says:
“The Day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony.”
The rest of the week…
On Tuesday 11 May, the Dullah Omar Institute continues its webinar series on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on South Africa’s metros. This week, the attention is on the City of Cape Town. The City’s executive director of corporate services, Craig Kesson, will unpack how the pandemic has impacted the metro’s revenue and expenditure budgets as well as its relationship with national government. Tune into the virtual discussion here at 2pm.
On Wednesday 12 May, Maverick Citizen editor Mark Heywood will be in conversation with two top officials of South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to discuss exactly how the entity works. It is one of the most crucial cogs in the medicine safety machine of South Africa, yet little is understood of its legal mandate, how it makes decisions and who pays for it. Join the discussion here at 6pm.
There is a growing movement in South Africa towards making organic and biodynamic wine. The award-winning farmers and conservationists leading this movement will join a virtual discussion to share their insight on how others can practically make this transition. They will discuss opportunities, challenges, commercial viability, certification and timelines. Join the latest #UnPoison webinar here at 10am on 12 May.
Later that day, a coalition of leading health organisations — from Unitaid to MSF — will present the latest data on the testing, treatment and fatalities of cryptococcal meningitis among people living with HIV. This illness is caused by fungi and is the second leading cause of AIDS-related deaths globally. On 12 May, these organisations will present a global action plan to reduce these deaths. Get a virtual seat at the launch of this new global initiative here at 4:30pm.
On Thursday 13 May, Scorpio investigative journalist Pauli van Wyk will chat to former CEO of the Government Communication and Information System Themba Maseko about his latest book For My Country: Why he blew the whistle on Zuma and the Guptas as well as the challenges he has endured to write it. Catch the live discussion here at 12 pm.
Over the last six years, more than R8-billion worth of South African weapons has been sold to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. These two states have been accused of committing war crimes in Yemen during this time. The International Labour Research and Information Group will be joined by Michael Marchant of Open Secrets — which published an investigation into these sales — as well as Nilüfer Koç of the Kurdist National Congress to discuss “the reality and impacts” of South Africa’s arms sales to conflict zones. Join the virtual discussion here at 4pm on 13 May.
There are two years to go before Zimbabwe’s next election, yet campaigning has started in earnest already. Zimbabwean activists, researchers and former senior government officials will come together in a virtual discussion to answer: Is Zimbabwe ready for these elections? This will be the eighth policy dialogue forum hosted by Southern African Political Economy Series Trust. Watch the virtual event here at 5:30pm on 13 May. DM/MC.